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How to Make DIY Disinfectant Wipes to Save You Time + Money

And the ingredients you should never use

There are quite a few reasons you might decide to make your own disinfectant wipes. For starters, it might be more cost-effective to purchase cleaning ingredients in bulk than to continuously buy store-bought wipes. Maybe eco-friendliness is a priority for you, and you prefer to reuse items around your house such as cloths, towels, rags or clothing articles that can be used to make DIY disinfectant wipes. Making your own wipes can also help you cut back on use of plastic containers and chemicals. Many people also suffer from sensitivities and allergic reactions to certain scents and ingredients in many pre-made wipes, so making your own allows for more personalization. Whatever your reasoning, here are a few steps to follow if you go the route of homemade disinfectant wipes.

How to make DIY disinfectant wipes

1. Choose your wipe base

You’ll need some kind of material to stand in as your wipe. Paper towels, fabric, cloth, old towels, clothing or anything with absorbent capabilities will suffice. “Get your container ready either by cutting paper towels in half to fit or cutting cloth wipes into squares,” says Elizabeth Shields, Operations Manager at Super Cleaning Service Louisville.

Lindsey Chastain, Founder and CEO of homesteading brand The Waddle and Cluck, says she likes to keep her wipes in a plastic square tub, so she cuts them to 6″ by 6.” If you are using paper towels, she advises choosing a high-quality brand that is sturdy when wet.

2. Mix isopropyl and water

In a bowl, mix a cup of water with a cup of 70% isopropyl alcohol or ethanol. The percentage here is important, because anything less may not be as effective for killing germs, cautions Shields.

3. Add an extra cleaning boost

For extra disinfecting power, you can add a few drops of dish soap into the mix. Chastain recommends blue Dawn dish soap. Additionally, Shields suggests adding 1/4 cup of white vinegar to fight stubborn stains or grime.

4. Add a splash of scent

Peppermint essential oil
Getty

Another optional step is to add some essential oils of your choosing to give your wipes a refreshing scent, plus Chastain notes that some essential oils even have antimicrobial properties as an added bonus. Shields suggests adding about 10-15 drops. For more on which ones to use, click through for our list of the best essential oils for cleaning.

5. Let your wipes saturate

Place the wipes in an airtight container and pour on the solution. Make sure the wipes are fully soaked, and then let them sit for a bit to ensure they’re fully saturated. Voila!

How to keep DIY disinfectant wipes effective

If you are using reusable wipes, Chastain highly recommends serging the edges for longer use, so as to prevent fraying. These wipes are also machine washable, so she puts them through the cycle with a load of towels.

“Keep the container sealed when not in use to prevent the wipes from drying out,” advises Shields. “If you’re using cloth wipes, just wash and re-soak them with a fresh solution after use. If you’re always on the move, pop a few moistened wipes into a resealable plastic bag for easy use while you’re out and about. If your wipes are starting to dry up, just add some more water and alcohol to keep them moist. It’s also good to have separate batches of wipes for different uses, like one for your kitchen counters and another for cleaning the bathroom.”

Lastly, Shields says, it’s helpful to label the container with the date and the ingredients you used for the wipes. If wipes are stored in a cool, dark place, alcohol-based ones are good to use for one to two months, she says If you added vinegar or essential oils, though, that will shorten its shelf life to around one month. This is why she prefers to make her wipes in small batches to use up within a few weeks.

What not to use when making DIY disinfectant wipes

The most important thing to avoid here is using bleach. Not only can it be hazardous for skin contact, it can also be unsafe for some surfaces.

Shields also cautions against adding hand sanitizer, which is formulated for skin and not for sanitizing surfaces, and fabric softener, which she says might leave a slimy film.

Also smart: Even though these are DIY disinfectant wipes without harsh chemicals, you should still be sure to keep them well out of reach of any kids or pets.


For more DIY cleaning tips check out these stories!

The 7 Best DIY Cleaning Solutions for Floors That Sparkle

4 All-Natural DIY Cleaners That Leave Your Toilet Sparkling — For Less

The $1 DIY Carpet Cleaner Solution That One Carpet Pro Swears By

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